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If you're looking for the adventure, think of Azerbaijan. It is an ideal hiking country with many mountains, lakes and forests. It's also home to Yanar Dag, a wondrous natural phenomenon.
You don't hear much about Azerbaijan. And when you do it’s about border conflicts over a piece of land or islands. Although Formula 1 has recently also entered the capital Baku, putting it slowly on the map. But the country was once part of the Silk Road, as well as the old Soviet Union era. Of which, the remains are still visible.
The country has a lot to offer the adventurous traveler. With lots of natural beauty and friendly residents. And you can see that more and more tour companies are offering trips to this intriguing country.
Due to the discovery of oil and gas, more and more luxury can be seen. Especially in the capital Baku you can see remarkable skyscrapers and many expensive cars. It is a great contradiction, which makes many travellers frown for a while.
The historic center of the city is called Ichari-Shahar. Where in the 12th century the imposing Palace of the Shirvanshah Rose was built. The Virgin Tower Qiz Qalasi is 28 meters high. The tower is located only a few hundred meters from the Caspian Sea. This is a lovely part of town to walk through at your leisure.
But as soon as you drive out of this city, the landscape changes quickly. The villages are rustic and you will automatically come across shepherds with their sheep. One of the absolute attractions is the Khizi Mountains.
Also called Candy Cane Mountains. That last name fits well as the mountains have many colours. The colours are created by groundwater enriched with oxidised iron. These mountains are found in eastern Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan is located in the Caucasus and borders the Caspian Sea to the east, with real seaside resorts. It borders Iran to the south, Armenia to the west, Georgia to the northwest and Russia to the north. You can make a nice road trip to Azerbaijan and Georgia for instance. Keep in mind that border controls can be a bit long and a hassle.